Determinants of intention to conceal tuberculosis status among family members: an analysis of seven Sub-Saharan African countries

Summary


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant public health burden in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), accounting for about 25% of global TB cases. In several communities, TB diagnosis, treatment, and control have become a critical challenge, largely due to the intention to conceal TB status among family members. It is therefore crucial to understand the factors associated with the intentions to conceal TB status among family members in SSA.

Methods: This quantitative study utilised data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). The objective was to examine the factors associated with the intention to conceal the TB status of family members. The sample consisted of 58,849 individuals aged 10 years or older from seven SSA countries. Binary logistic regression was employed to assess the associations between TB status concealment and various socio-demographic and economic variables.

Results: The overall prevalence of TB status concealment intentions for the seven countries was 28.0% (95% CI: 27.6-28.4). Malawi and Eswatini accounted for the highest (47.3%) and lowest (3.0%) prevalence of TB concealment intentions respectively. TB status concealment intentions decreased with increasing age (p < 0.001). Living in rural areas was associated with lower odds of intending to conceal the TB of family members compared to living in urban areas (aOR = 0.92; p = 0.008). Higher education levels were associated with lower odds of TB status concealment intentions (aOR = 0.50; p < 0.001) compared to lower education levels. As participants wealth index increased, the odds of TB status concealment intentions decreased (aOR = 0.83; p < 0.001). Country of residence also showed significant associations with individuals in Ghana (aOR = 4.51; p < 0.001), Lesotho (aOR = 2.08; p < 0.001), Malawi (aOR = 4.10; p < 0.001), Namibia (aOR = 4.40; p < 0.001), and Sao-Tome and Principe (aOR = 5.56; p < 0.001) showing higher odds of TB status concealment intentions compared to Eswatini.

Conclusions: The findings conclude that several social determinants of health, including age, urbanicity, education, and wealth contribute to TB status concealment intentions for family members. Considering these factors is important for designing targeted interventions to improve TB control in the sample. In light of the unavailability of cultural variables in the dataset, future research can leverage qualitative approaches to conduct a more comprehensive exploration of the cultural factors linked to TB status concealment intentions in the population.

Keywords: Africa; Family health; Health secrecy; Infectious disease; Stigma; TB disclosure.

Citation/Ref

APA Citation Dormechele, W., Bonsu, E. O., Boadi, C., Adams, M. O., Hlormenu, B. A., Addo, S. K., Bossman, B. B., & Addo, I. Y. (2024). Determinants of intention to conceal tuberculosis status among family members: an analysis of seven Sub-Saharan African countries. BMC infectious diseases, 24(1), 175.
Geographies African Region

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